Drought - Fire - Flood Email Forum

Re: Fwd: intro. to online drought, fire, and flood dialouge

MM ()
Tue, 24 Oct 2000 09:23:27 -0600

Welcome to everyone participating in the Drought, Fire and Flood discussion.
Those of you who have introduced your selves-- thank you-- and for those of you
who haven't yet, please feel free to jump in whenever you feel inspired to do so.

John's question about defining drought seems like a good place to begin our
discussion since there are relative droughts (like the well running dry) and then
there are ful-blown droughts that dry up reservoirs and have a major impact on
agriculture, etc. We have posted part of the executive summary from the State's
Drought Mitigation and Reponse plan that includes a definition of drought which
says "Drought is an ambiguous hazard that defies a universal definition" :

There are certain criteria about what it takes to make a "real" drought (and get
drought relief funds), but in the context of Connie's comment that her research
shows "the 20th century has not been especially representative of the past several
centuries", perhaps we need to revisit drought in a bigger context than 100 years
of weather records.

Connie, can you say more about how the climate of the 20th century differs from
prior centuries? How can we put the "dry spells" during the 18th and 19th
centuries in perspective? (see: )


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